Hundreds of community members and friends and family of Oscar Grant present at Alameda County Courthouse today were outraged after Officer Mehserle was granted release upon $3 million bail. District Attorney Tom Orloff’s office and his assistant DA did not even try to ask for denial of bail.
“The fix is in—it is the aim of the prosecutor’s office to let Johannes Mehserle, Tony Pirone, and the other BART cops get away with murder,” said Yvette Felarca, Northern California coordinator of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). “Orloff has not even charged Pirone and the other killer cops who were clearly accomplices to murder. He’s protecting them. He’s hiding the identities of the other killer cops by instructing BART not to release their names.” “What’s needed now is an independent investigation and an independent public tribunal of and for the people of Oakland to gather as much information as possible so that the truth of Oscar Grant’s killing is not buried,” said Ronald Cruz, BAMN organizer and Berkeley Law student.
“It’s clear that Oscar Grant is not going to get justice through the police, the Alameda prosecutor’s office, or any of the official bodies. BAMN calls on unions, churches, and community organizations to join us in pulling together this independent investigation and series of public hearings. Any witnesses who saw the killing or who has evidence, should get that evidence to BAMN, either directly or anonymously.” “Mayor Ronald Dellums has got to break his silence, and make clear he seeks justice for Oscar Grant and is prepared to defend black and Latino youth of Oakland against police terror, brutality, and murder,” said Felarca. “Dellums must speak out against the handling of the investigation and prosecution of this case.”
In addition to the independent public tribunal, BAMN plans demonstrations, including emergency response demonstrations statewide Monday, February 2. BAMN has also launched a mass petition campaign demanding: (1) jail all the killer cops, (2) disarm the BART police and keep BART police out of Oakland, (3) open an independent public investigation, and (4) drop all the charges against protesters.